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suzanneyoung

BEWARE FlightEase glitch

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I had a horrific experience with FlightEase. *** Good news: it is extremely unlikely this will happen to you!  I am sharing so you don't accidentally go through this nightmare ***

 

I booked cruise and Flight Ease through a TA. As it is Flexible Air, I checked a couple times by calling TA who then called HAL to check fares which was a 45-90 minute phone call.  Seemed like using the online tool to check prices was a much easier way so I went on the website to check fares. This also worked great. (or so I thought) I checked flights with different routes from different airports. I was still happy with what I booked and closed out the system. At NO time did I receive any notification that I was changing my reservation. At NO time did the system prompt me that I was potentially canceling my reservation. At NO time was I asked to confirm that I wanted to cancel my reservation. At NO time was I sent an email that I had canceled my flights. You get the idea - I did a price check was happy with my booking and moved on.

 

At final payment I was only charged for cruise and when I called TA  we discovered my flights were canceled! I was in complete DISBELIEF. I had never agreed to cancellation and was fully expecting to pay for the flights. What happened? Apparently when I did a price check since I changed the airport code I effectively canceled my flights. WHAT?!!!

 

YES, there is a glitch in the system that will cancel your flights without notification. HAL was not able to reinstate my flights. I had to rebook with a terrible schedule but we have flights. 

 

I encourage you NOT TO use the FlightEase WEBSITE to check prices!!!!! Call your TA or HAL and have them check. You don't want this to happen to you.

 

PS - I said I have a terrible schedule because there are 4 legs but that is not the worst.......HAL Air booked us on a flight from Montreal arriving in Houston at 8:42 with a connection to Phoenix at 9:50. I questioned how I could clear customs and make the connection and they said it was fine. Anyone think this is going to go smoothly?! I don't!!!!!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, suzanneyoung said:

questioned how I could clear customs and make the connection and they said it was fine. Anyone think this is going to go smoothly?! I don't!!!!!

 

Montreal has a pre-clearance center.  You are pre-screened by US CBP before you board.

 

There are a few threads about the Flight-Ease issue but I thought I’d read the known solution.  If I find it in a search I will post the link.

Edited by *Miss G*

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Just now, *Miss G* said:

 

Montreal has a pre-clearance center.  You are pre-screened by US CBP before you board.

 

There are a few threads about the Flight-Ease issue but I thought I’d read the known solution.  If I find it in a search I will post the link.

Thank you @*Miss G*. I needed some good news! We are flying in to Montreal with a 90 minute layover from Venice. Will that work?

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Okay, I give up on CC’s search function.  Hopefully someone who posted on those threads will see this one and comment.

 

Sorry, but I am not familiar enough with YUL to feel comfortable responding to your connection time question.  It should be doable providing all goes well but... you know... Murphy’s Law.  If it were me I’d do it.

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1 hour ago, suzanneyoung said:

Apparently when I did a price check since I changed the airport code I effectively canceled my flights. WHAT?!!!

Did they tell you that it was because you changed the airport code? The reason I ask is because we were checking prices often and our flights were not canceled, but we did not change airport codes.

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1 hour ago, suzanneyoung said:

I encourage you NOT TO use the FlightEase WEBSITE to check prices!!!!! Call your TA or HAL and have them check. You don't want this to happen to you.

My FlightEase glitch started similar but was not as bad because I did not have any flight bookings to mess up. I was checking to see about a cruise Montreal to Boston and prices to fly Boston to Seattle for an Alaska cruise. Telling FlightEase to fly me from Boston got the system to set Boston as my home airport and USA as my country of residence (not Canada). My PCC later made the cruise and flight bookings and it seemed good. I guess he worked around the problems. Later, during the actual cruise, the on-board FCC asked me to confirm where I live. All he could get was American prices. We eventually realized what had happened and reset my country of residence.

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2 hours ago, suzanneyoung said:

Thank you @*Miss G*. I needed some good news! We are flying in to Montreal with a 90 minute layover from Venice. Will that work?

Passengers on flights originating in Canada and destined for the US go through pre-clearance as @*Miss G* has indicated. While this is good news for your subsequent Houston - Phoenix connection, as you won't spend time clearing customs/immigration in Houston, you might find your connection time in Montreal a bit tight. There are two possible scenarios with a flight originating Vienna with a connecting flight to a Houston:

 

If your airline offers the option of automatically transferring your luggage and you have a boarding pass for your connecting flight, you will be asked to proceed via a connecting flights corridor, avoiding Canadian customs. You will, however, have to go through U.S. customs. Your checked luggage will be transferred automatically by the luggage-handling system. Note, however, that U.S. customs officers are authorized to recall your luggage, if necessary, for manual inspection. If the customs officers do not yet have the information on your luggage at hand, you will be asked to proceed to the waiting area. 

 

If your airline does not offer the option of automatically transferring your luggage, you must pick it up yourself from the carousel, then follow the normal procedures for international arrivals, then for US departures. This means going through Canadian customs, picking up your baggage, making your way to departures, going through security and finally, being processed by US CBP.

 

With the first scenario, there should be no problem with the amount of time you have available as you avoid the bottle necks of customs/immigration and then security. However, it could be touch and go under the second scenario, particularly if you arrive at a busy time with a lot of European flights arriving within a short time frame. I'd suggest that you speak to your TA to determine whether your airline offers luggage transfer, and if not, have the TA check with the airline to get its read on the available time. Airlines generally won't let you book connecting flights unless they believe that you have the necessary time to make it, but given your problems with Flight Ease, it might be good to have some reassurance. In the mean time, we'll keep our fingers crossed that you'll fall under the first scenario! 🤞

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Posted (edited)

I recall last summer reading on this board about the same type of glitch, losing the flight just by browsing.  I’ll try to find the Thread.  So sorry this happened, it must have come at a shock!  You seem to have a great attitude and I hope your flights go well.

 

EDIT: found the Thread, here it is: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2551853-flight-ease-concern/

 

 

 

Edited by syesmar

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1 hour ago, syesmar said:

I recall last summer reading on this board about the same type of glitch, losing the flight just by browsing.  I’ll try to find the Thread.  So sorry this happened, it must have come at a shock!  You seem to have a great attitude and I hope your flights go well.

 

EDIT: found the Thread, here it is: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2551853-flight-ease-concern/

 

 

 

There were at least 2 threads about it. I think the most recent was just before Christmas. Thank you for bringing it to our attention again. HAL really should do something to prevent flights from being cancelled just because someone looked for another, or warn about consequences.

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Yes. They told me it was because I changed airport codes. Apparently they know about this issue but have yet to resolve it. I hope it only happens if you change airport codes but to me it's not worth risking your flights

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3 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

I would be very concerned about the 90 minute layover time in Montreal from Venice.

I absolutely am! However I only have so much energy to fight with HAL air sitting on hold with my TA. I am a stressed out mess over this and I rarely get anxiety. Pretty sure HAL hates us and am wondering if I am missing the signs that we shouldn't be on this trip....but the booking is fully paid and we really want to go. 

 

I think we fly Air Canada. Honestly I am having a hard time keeping track.

 

I agree with that the airlines should not allow booking of connections that are too short. I believe they call them "illegal" and they are not happy rebooking you if you created this problem. I am braced for this.

 

I am already out the cost of the hotel I paid at the Rome airport.  TA asked for compensation for this both times. HAL said no (not surprising) even though both errors were their fault. I contacted customer service in writing over a week ago and they haven't bothered to respond.  Meanwhile they likely believe they are delivering great service...clearly I feel differently.  This is our first HAL cruise. We have cruied Disney 4 times so we are accustomed to amazing service and expected equally great service from HAL as my parents are 4 star Mariners. It's not like I asked for anything crazy like a cabin upgrade. The request was could they do something. Nope! it costs them next to nothing to treat us to lunch or dinner at the Pinnacle. However they are not interested in creating my goodwill. Sad.

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1 hour ago, suzanneyoung said:

Yes. They told me it was because I changed airport codes. Apparently they know about this issue but have yet to resolve it. I hope it only happens if you change airport codes but to me it's not worth risking your flights

WOW. I am so sorry to hear this has happened to you and that now you are stressed about your connecting flights. I hope you have no problems and have an amazing trip.

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Air Canada's website states that the minimum time that should be allowed for a connection in Montreal between an international flight and one to the US is 70 minutes. As you have a 90 minute layover, you will be cutting it close. On a more positive note, the same webpage states that "Flights without an adequate connection time can’t be booked", so if you are booked with Air Canada, they must believe that 90 minutes is adequate.

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 12.10.53 PM.png

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Wow!  Can't believe this FlightEase "glitch" is still occurring !

I am one of the folks this happened to last Fall.  I had my flight booked but as I have a choice of 2 airports, I decided to compare times and flights from both airports.  At no time were there any warnings or indications that I was canceling my booked flight. I was only aware when I went to the Delta website to pick my seats and no longer saw my reservation.

I was able to rebook but at a higher price.  

I will say, when I notified HAL what happened, I received an apology and an OBC that made up the difference in the airline fare.

Still, the whole thing was very stressful and should not happen.

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1 hour ago, Sherry H said:

Wow!  Can't believe this FlightEase "glitch" is still occurring !

I am one of the folks this happened to last Fall.  I had my flight booked but as I have a choice of 2 airports, I decided to compare times and flights from both airports.  At no time were there any warnings or indications that I was canceling my booked flight. I was only aware when I went to the Delta website to pick my seats and no longer saw my reservation.

I was able to rebook but at a higher price.  

I will say, when I notified HAL what happened, I received an apology and an OBC that made up the difference in the airline fare.

Still, the whole thing was very stressful and should not happen.

It is so stressful!!!! I ended up with a slightly less expensive flight with a horrible schedule. We are a family of 4 so the $250 per person difference wasn't financially feasible for us, especially since HAL acted like they were doing us a favor. I notified HAL by phone and in writing with no response.

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5 hours ago, suzanneyoung said:

THANK YOU!!! We will proceed like it is no problem and deal with any changes or delays when they happen.

We've flown twice from Montreal to the US and I recall being pre-cleared in Canada by US agents quickly and having positive experiences at that airport. I'm sorry about what happened to your flights. Thank you for alerting the rest of us; that is very kind of you to take the time to share and spare us the same mess with HAL. Hopefully these tight connections are post-cruise so if you do miss one you'll be late returning home rather than getting to the ship?

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4 minutes ago, suzannecruisecritic said:

We've flown twice from Montreal to the US and I recall being pre-cleared in Canada by US agents quickly and having positive experiences at that airport. I'm sorry about what happened to your flights. Thank you for alerting the rest of us; that is very kind of you to take the time to share and spare us the same mess with HAL. Hopefully these tight connections are post-cruise so if you do miss one you'll be late returning home rather than getting to the ship?

Thanks for you for understanding my intent of this post.  Yes they are on the way home. I couldn't risk it getting to the ship.

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3 hours ago, Sherry H said:

Wow!  Can't believe this FlightEase "glitch" is still occurring !

I am one of the folks this happened to last Fall.  I had my flight booked but as I have a choice of 2 airports, I decided to compare times and flights from both airports.  At no time were there any warnings or indications that I was canceling my booked flight. I was only aware when I went to the Delta website to pick my seats and no longer saw my reservation.

I was able to rebook but at a higher price.  

I will say, when I notified HAL what happened, I received an apology and an OBC that made up the difference in the airline fare.

Still, the whole thing was very stressful and should not happen.

 

I had the same experience with FlightEase last year. Only I didn't get an apology! Only a nasty experience with a HAL Representative that blamed me and my incompetence. The flight & seat was still available, but at a higher fare. I fought with them for an hour an we split the difference. Not a pleasant experience. They had no sympathy and didn't care that their system has a real glitch. They denied it entirely. 

 

I've got a Med cruise booked for next spring, so I'll be really careful not to do that again.

 

Jeanne

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13 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Air Canada's website states that the minimum time that should be allowed for a connection in Montreal between an international flight and one to the US is 70 minutes. As you have a 90 minute layover, you will be cutting it close. On a more positive note, the same webpage states that "Flights without an adequate connection time can’t be booked", so if you are booked with Air Canada, they must believe that 90 minutes is adequate.

 

 

 

One problem with connecting times is that they are calculated from scheduled arrival time to scheduled departure time, in the this case for 90 minutes.

 

However, many times the connecting airline says you must present yourself at the gate for boarding 20 to 30 minutes before scheduled departure or you may be denied boarding. This is because they often try to load the plane and leave the gate before the actual scheduled time. So that 90 minutes layover may be only 70 minutes to actually make the connecting flight.

 

(You can see this often by looking at a flight's history. I checked the performance for a flight Wednesday that is the one I will be taking Thursday. It days it departed 8 minutes before the scheduled time.)

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The original post is exactly what happened to me last summer. (I shared my story in the link posted above.) I booked flights (round trip to South America) but then wanted to check prices from a smaller airport that was closer to where we live. Prices were higher so I just kept the reservation the way it was...or so I thought. A month later I just happened to notice my flights were gone. At no time did I ever get any notice from HAL that my flights had been cancelled. Luckily I was still able to rebook the flights but at a higher cost. (I still shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn't discovered the mistake when I did.)

 

It didn't seem right that I had to pay more money so I contacted HAL by phone and got no where. I called my TA hoping she could check into the problem but I don't think she actually even tried. 

 

It bothered me enough that I sat down and wrote a letter to guest relations explaining what happened and also mentioned that I had read on Cruise Critic about others with the same issue.

 

A few weeks later I got a call from a manager in the transportation department who admitted they knew the website had a problem. Since I had already rebooked the flights on my own, he just adjusted the price and actually gave me a lower price than what I had in the beginning. He also gave me his personal phone number and said I should call him directly if I had any more problems. I was very pleased with how he handled things. 

 

Good luck on your travels and hope everything goes smoothly.

 

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19 minutes ago, AryMay said:

The original post is exactly what happened to me last summer. (I shared my story in the link posted above.) I booked flights (round trip to South America) but then wanted to check prices from a smaller airport that was closer to where we live. Prices were higher so I just kept the reservation the way it was...or so I thought. A month later I just happened to notice my flights were gone. At no time did I ever get any notice from HAL that my flights had been cancelled. Luckily I was still able to rebook the flights but at a higher cost. (I still shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn't discovered the mistake when I did.)

 

It didn't seem right that I had to pay more money so I contacted HAL by phone and got no where. I called my TA hoping she could check into the problem but I don't think she actually even tried. 

 

It bothered me enough that I sat down and wrote a letter to guest relations explaining what happened and also mentioned that I had read on Cruise Critic about others with the same issue.

 

A few weeks later I got a call from a manager in the transportation department who admitted they knew the website had a problem. Since I had already rebooked the flights on my own, he just adjusted the price and actually gave me a lower price than what I had in the beginning. He also gave me his personal phone number and said I should call him directly if I had any more problems. I was very pleased with how he handled things. 

 

Good luck on your travels and hope everything goes smoothly.

 

I am completely disgusted that HAL apparently refuses to fix this. I had to go with another route as it wasn't financially an option for us to pay the higher fare.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, suzanneyoung said:

I am completely disgusted that HAL apparently refuses to fix this. I had to go with another route as it wasn't financially an option for us to pay the higher fare.

Given all of their other website issues, I think it's probably less a question of refusing to fix it and more a question of being clueless as to how to fix it.

 

Either way, it's a totally unacceptable situation. 😡 

Edited by Fouremco

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, suzanneyoung said:

I am completely disgusted that HAL apparently refuses to fix this. I had to go with another route as it wasn't financially an option for us to pay the higher fare.

Considering that you have your flights booked with HAL Air, I wonder if the manager mentioned above would be able to have HAL change back to your more convenient flight time without the higher fare (i.e., what you originally paid)?  I would definitely write and see what they could do (or call if you had his name).

 

All the Best!

Edited by syesmar

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